Leeds man sues police over unlawful arrest on night out

Barry Fulthorpe outside the Revival bar where he was wrongfully arrested
Barry Fulthorpe outside the Revival bar where he was wrongfully arrested
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A man who was wrongfully arrested and falsely imprisoned by West Yorkshire Police after a night out has spoken of his anger.

Barry Fulthorpe, 63, won a long battle to prove that officers unlawfully locked him up and used excessive force to do so after taking his case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The former handyman, from Headingley, who has no criminal record, is now suing the police for damages – including injuries he says were caused to his wrists by handcuffs.

He said: “It has weakened me physically, it has affected my confidence, I don’t like going out into town now. That night I was very frightened because I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Mr Fulthorpe was at Revival bar on Boar Lane in April 2012 when a friend, Jonathan Mahoney, injured his hand and was asked to leave.

Mr Fulthorpe approached police who were speaking to Mr Mahoney outside, but was pushed away.

He said: “Before I knew what was happening I was being handcuffed and thrown in the back of a van. I was in shock. They never said a word, didn’t tell me what I was being arrested for.”

Mr Fulthorpe was taken to Bridewell police station and told he had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

He was locked in a cell but had to be taken to hospital after suffering a medical episode in the middle of the night and was kept in handcuffs until a doctor ordered the arresting officer to remove them.

He was eventually released without charge after nearly nine hours in custody.

An initial internal investigation by the force’s own standards department found in favour of the police, but the IPCC overturned that decision.

In a letter, the IPCC said “no real thought was given as to why this arrest was necessary”, the use of force was unlawful and it criticised the decision to keep his arms cuffed behind his back.

West Yorkshire Police later issued a formal apology, admitting the arrest was not based upon reasonable grounds and “the use of force, including the use of handcuffs, was unlawful”.

Mr Fulthorpe, who has been unable to work since the incident, said: “I’m still very angry. I’ve had to fight for all this and I feel like the public should know.”


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